Posts Tagged ‘video dog training’

Diabetic Alert Dog Fundamentals – Free Training Advice

Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, owner and head trainer of the Service Dog Academy shared some of her diabetic alert dog training fundamentals in a free webinar earlier this month with attendees from all over the country. With her background in training service dogs, and seeing the effects of diabetes through personal experience and with family members, McNeight set out to make training dogs for diabetic alert accessible for everyone.

Attendees from all over including Denver, San Antonio, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Michigan, Virginia, and New Jersey also got a sneak peak at Diabetic Alert Dog University – the next phase in McNeight’s quest for offering low-cost diabetic alert dog training to type one and type two diabetics, hypoglycemics, and pre-diabetics.

“I did find your webinar useful and your approach compatible [sic] with my own training beliefs. I am fascinated by the whole process!”

In this program, dogs are allowed to be dogs through the use of games, solving puzzles, and making service work incredibly rewarding. By using positive reinforcement methods, Service Dog Academy’s diabetic alert dog program keeps a dog’s spirit intact. The puzzles and games that are part of the training have been developed to create an improvisational dog.

Furthermore, by working with your own dog and doing the training with your dog, it will give you the ability to keep up with the training. Unfortunately, when an already trained dog is given to a person he may lose his ability to alert within a few months. With this program, in addition to the basics of alerting to blood sugar changes, getting drinks from the refrigerator, retrieving your meter and getting help, this program gives you the fundamentals to teach your dog more complicated tasks when you come up with them.

The main goal of the training is based on the discoveries of Ivan Pavlov, a psychologist who rang a bell when he fed his dogs, and discovered that his dogs equated the sound of a bell to being fed. Eventually, they started to salivate at the sound of a ringing bell. The main goal of diabetic alert dog training is to create a Pavlovian response in your dog to blood sugar scents.

1. Make sure dog has a strong foundation with the scent. At first, the low blood sugar scent might not be more important than a tennis ball, squeaky toys, children running by, etcetera. So, build a solid foundation with the scent using Pavlovian techniques. Pair food with the scent.

2. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Train one variable at a time, in micro-increments. Start training in a low distraction environment, and build from there.

3. Start generalizing. Once your dog performs the tasks with 95% accuracy switch it up. change the body posture, distance, location, level of distraction, and “training predictors” – i.e. clicker, clenched fist, or treat bag.

Note: Don’t add variables until your dog is 95% accurate with the others.

4. There is a difference between an alert and a signal. The alert says “hey! there’s something wrong!” and the signal tells you exactly what – in the case of lows, it would be a paw swipe, and for highs, spinning in a circle.

5. The signal training is the same when it comes to generalization as alert training.

6. Always remember: Don’t put the chain together until your dog can generalize all steps in the chain with 95% accuracy. Why? It’s like trying to complete an algebraic equation with out being able to divide, or only being able to divide even numbers, or not being able to count past 50.

Be aware that dogs have an 85% success rate in alerting and typically do so around the 6th or 7th week of training. So many variables can come into play when a dog begins training – health, temperament, owner’s commitment to training, owner’s abilities, or history of punitive training methods – that can thwart a dog’s success. Be forewarned – anyone who claims they have a 100% success rate either hasn’t had enough dogs through the program, or they are lying.

“I am so thankful that I was able to listen today! i’m sure you’ve saved me from trying to do too much too soon. I am very, very interested in learning more about the Diabetic Alert Dog University online!”

We are in the process of launching an entirely online positive reinforcement diabetic alert dog training program called Diabetic Alert Dog University.
The online program will allow persons from anywhere to download weekly 20 minute training sessions, and teach how to create an improvisational diabetic alert dog. Visit www.diabeticalertdoguniversity.com today, or call the Service Dog Academy at 206-355-9033 for more information on this groundbreaking new program from the Northwest’s best pet and service dog training school.

Traveling with a Service Dog: Airline Travel Part 2

With a service dog in tow, Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA has traveled to dog training conferences and seminars around the country because of her commitment to continuing her education as a professionally certified dog trainer at Service Dog Academy’s West Seattle dog training studio. This is the second in a series of videos sharing tips on making airline travel with a service dog as comfortable and stress-free as possible. While these videos focus on traveling with a service dog, a lot of this information can apply to pet dog travel, too!

1. Exercise, exercise, and more exercise. Flying can stress out a dog, but and exhausted dog is much calmer. Give your dog at least 45-minutes of heart-pumping exercise before leaving for the airport. This doesn’t mean a walk – this means jogging, running, playing fetch, swimming, ball chasing, or any other high energy activities your dog likes to do.

2. Empty Stomach. Withhold food and water at least four hours before your flight. This will prevent nausea and ensure your dog doesn’t need to go to the bathroom during the entire length of your flight or layover. Should your assistance dog need to go outside during a layover, the two of you will be going all the way back through security a second time.

3. Empty the Tank. If the dog is scared on the airplane, this will prevent him from having any accidents. You’ve withheld food and water, but to make sure your dog is totally empty, be sure your dog empties both bowels and bladder right before your flight. Learn how to train your dog to go on command using positive reinforcement, and be the envy of everyone in the cabin by having the best behaved, accident-free service dog.

4. Anxiety relief solution/Benadryl. Homeopathic remedies can help with relieving anxiety for your dog. There are several varieties on the market, including HomeoPet Solutions, developed to naturally relieve anxiety for your dog. Benadryl is a safe alternative to sedatives that will make your dog tired.

Test them on your dog a few weeks before your flight to make sure the homeopathic remedies and the Benadryl don’t have any adverse effects. In some cases, Benadryl can make a dog hyper. Take note that we do not advise, and most veterinarians will not prescribe a sedative for your dog for air travel because the pressure in the cabin and the altitude can have negative effects on a sedated dog.

5. Practice TTouch Therapy. This is a therapeutic massage that will help reduce anxiety levels. Massage the ears and chest before you board so your dog is relaxed and ready for take-off.

6. Do a Test Run. Especially if you are traveling far, buy a ticket to an airport closer to your location as a test run before your main flight to see that everything will go smoothly. For example, if you live in Seattle, a ticket to Portland might cost $75-$100, but worth it to know exactly what to expect with a typical flight. Test-flying to a closer airport enables you to take a train or alternative mode of transportation should your dog not be comfortable with flying.

The Service Dog Academy provides low cost, do-it-yourself training to all types of training needs. Funding from our basic obedience for puppies and adult dogs goes toward funding our low-cost service dog and diabetic alert dog training for people with disabilities. Have fun traveling with your service dog, and always be prepared.

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

guido

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, has never been to the Service Dog Academy. Mary McNeight, owner and head trainer at the Service Dog Academy was about to start obedience in disguise, a.k.a. party tricks using positive reinforcement dog training methods when Guido, a 12-year old Jack Russell Terrier came through the door with his owner, Monica. His sweet, and sometimes saucy personality instantly captured our hearts during the training sessions at the West Seattle studio.

What we know of Guido starts when he was around two-years old when he was found wandering along the US/Canada border, and was brought to an animal shelter in Bellingham, Washington. Monica had been interested in adopting a Jack Russell, and when she got a tip from a friend about Guido, she high-tailed it north to meet him. It was love at first sight, even though he was in bad shape – his nose was raw from rubbing against his cage. “He was the sweetest dog I had met,” Monica said, and luckily that day was the first day he was available for adoption.

The instant bond between Monica and Guido was strengthened when shortly after the adoption, Guido was attacked by an off-leash Pit Bull. Hanging on for dear life, Guido spent several days at the emergency vet. “I think he learned I would always be there for him and would alway stake care of him,” Monica recalls.

Monica put effort into basic training from day one, and Guido was quick learner and seemed to enjoy training. Now, 12-years old, and still looking as handsome as ever, the trickster made us laugh and charmed everyone in party tricks at the Service Dog Academy. Some tricks were harder than others, but in 4-weeks he learned to jump over a leg, weave through legs, jump through a hoop, act ashamed, beg, open a refrigerator, spin, hide, say his prayers, hide his face in pillow, and give kisses. Our latest tricks class graduate proved to be a show-off who loves attention. Some of his favorite tricks, Monica says, is shake and crawl, but adds, “I think he loves doing all tricks.”

Traveling with a Service Dog: Airline Travel – Seattle Dog Training Classes

Support for videos such as this one comes from our pet dog training program. When you choose to train with the Service Dog Academy, you are helping fund our low cost programs for people with disabilities.

Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, is committed to continuing her education as a certified dog trainer and travels often – attending conferences and educational seminars all over the country. Overall, she has taken more than 40 different flights with both her current and previous service dogs and the owner and head trainer of Service Dog Academy would like to share her experience traveling on an airplane with a service dog by offering up a few tips on airline travel with a service dog. While this video focuses on traveling with a service dog, a lot of these tips can be applicable to people traveling with their pet dogs, too!

1. Paperwork!
Have as much paperwork as possible. Service dog rights during air travel are completely different than rights on the ground, and it is important to know these rights and have documentation at the ready.

This is especially important for psychiatric service dogs – when there is no apparent physical disability it tends to raise more skepticism from airline officials. Unfortunately, fraudulent service dogs have been a cause for this, and knowing your rights and having the right documentation to back it up will ensure there is no question from the ticket agent that your dog is a service dog.

The right paperwork can save you a lot of trouble, remember to bring the following:

  • A note from your doctor prescribing the use of task trained service dog to help you mitigate the symptoms of your disability, and proof that your service dog is covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  • Documented training hours. Training is the biggest difference between a service dog and a pet dog, and all service dogs should have documented training hours.
  • Current health certificate for your dog – although it is not required by law to have one, it is strongly advised. Your veterinarian can provide this, and can be given up to 10 days before your flight.
  • Copy of vaccination records. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations required by the state you are traveling. Different states have different requirements, so be sure to check with that state’s department of health to find out what you need.
  • If your city has a service dog registry make sure you have a copy of that with your service dog listed in it.
  • Letter and any certification provided by your training organization to verify your dog’s status as a service dog
  • Copy of air carrier’s access rules – know your rights, and have the paperwork that shows them that you know what you’re talking about.
  • 2. Bring your vest and make sure “service dog” CLEARLY stated on it. The Service Dog Academy suggests at least three different visible places on the vest. A “service dog” bandana is more questionable than a heavy duty vest. The more official the vest looks, the better your chances of getting through the airport smoothly.

    3.Call ahead! When you make your reservation, call the airline and tell them you are traveling with a service dog and ask to be placed in bulkhead seating.

    As a side note: a person with a disability has the right to sit in this type of seating, and cannot be charged extra for these accommodations.

    It is better to be prepared than to be sorry. Even though it isn’t required by law to provide it, the last thing you want is to be in a situation where someone decides they need to see documentation. If one TSA employee is on a power trip, putting up a fight can usually result in not making your flight, missing your connections, and ruining your trip. Cover your bases with as much paperwork as possible!

    The Service Dog Academy is a service dog and pet dog training studio operating out of Seattle, Washington. We provide low cost, do-it-yourself training to all types of training needs from basic obedience for puppies and adult dogs, service dog training, and diabetic alert dog training. Have fun traveling with your service dog, and always be prepared!

    Diabetic Alert Dog Training Class Starting April 7th

    The Service Dog Academy to Hold Puget Sounds First Diabetic Alert Dog Training Class

    A Diabetic Alert Dog Training Student Posing in front of our award from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Contest for Train Your Dog Month

    West Seattle, March 7, 2011—The Service Dog Academy, located in West Seattle, will be teaching the Puget Sounds groundbreaking train your own Diabetic Alert Dog training class starting April 7th at 7:30PM. The revolutionary class will teach students to train their dogs to alert to low blood sugars, retrieve sugary drinks to correct blood sugar imbalances and to get human help when needed. This class is intended for both pet dogs and dogs training for service work.

    Service Dog Academy’s owner, Mary McNeight, understands the devastating effect diabetes can have on ones entire life. Her grandmother suffered from diabetes when she was a small child and her father is living with the consequences of poor management of the condition due to memory problems. She knew that, thanks to genetics, she would eventually develop the condition. She decided that she didn’t want to suffer the same fate as her family members so she set off to educate herself on how to train her own diabetic alert dog, dogs typically used for people with type 1 diabetes only.

    “Up until recently Type 2 diabetics have been unable to get a diabetic alert dog. With Type 2 diabetes at epidemic proportions and the cost of a trained diabetic alert dog running upwards of $20,000” said Mary, “I didn’t think it fair that only the super rich Type 1 diabetics were able to afford help in managing their condition.”

    Using their incredibly powerful noses, a properly trained diabetic alert dog can alert to changes in blood sugar 10 minutes before a meter can detect it. This means diabetics no longer suffer the devastating consequences of prolonged highs or coma inducing lows. Blood sugar control becomes tighter and results in dramatically improved health.

    The Service Dog Academy’s groundbreaking class is only $650 and is for dogs 4 months and older. Dogs only need basic obedience commands to enroll in the class. Students can register for the class online at http://www.servicedogacademy.com

    “Thanks to this program” Mary said, “now anyone with a well behaved dog can benefit from the use of a diabetic alert dog to better control their diabetes.”

    Mary McNeight, BGS, CCS is available for interviews to discuss the training of diabetic alert dogs, service dogs and her highly innovative dog training school located in West Seattle.

    Mary would also be willing to discuss how her dog Liame, a yellow lab, originally trained for diabetic alert due to Mary’s interest in it, inadvertently after several months of no training started alerting Mary to low blood sugar issues she has been having over the last month. Mary has not been diagnosed as a diabetic but found out that one of the medications she had been taking ended up having an unexpected side effect lowering her blood sugar.

    Service Dog Academy was founded to train pet dogs as well as service dogs. They offer a variety of classes at their West Seattle location and are also available for private appointments. The proceeds from the pet training classes help subsidize their low cost service dog training program. Although the company is not a non profit, they operate as such by funneling their profits into those that cannot afford their services. Their certified trainer is committed to helping you and your pet build an exceptional relationship. For more information or to sign up for classes, please visit www.servicedogacademy.com.

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    Contact
    Mary McNeight, BGS, CCS
    Service Dog Academy, LLC
    206-355-9033
    mary@servicedogacademy.com

    Pet Dog Classes & In Home Training!

    $110 West Seattle and Beacon Hill PET puppy and adult dog training classes. Private training “pay it forward” program that benefits people with disabilities.


    The Service Dog Academy offers premier puppy, adult dog and service dog training in West Seattle, the Greater Seattle area, on-location throughout King County and via Skype’s video conferencing nationwide.

    Read more about our group puppy and adult dog basic and advanced classes and our other dog training options.

    Specialized Pet Dog Training

    While service dogs are trained to assist disabled persons, the specialized methods used in training these exceptional aid dogs will also make your pet dog an exceptional member of your family and the community.

    Whether you just want your dog to come when called, walk on a leash properly, be well behaved in public or stop aggressive behavior, The Service Dog Academy can help you achieve superior results.

    Training is Key

    If you want the best training for your dog, get the best trainer. The Service Dog Academy prides itself on its advancements in the science of dog training.

    Our obedience training is based upon the animal learning theory. The animal learning theory focuses on the underlying motivator that influences your dog’s behavior. Read more about the two quadrants of the animal learning theory.

    Owner Mary McNeight is a student of renown veterinarian, animal behaviorist and writer, Dr. Ian Dunbar.

    Dr. Dunbar has spent years researching olfactory communication, hierarchical social behavior and aggression in domestic dogs at the University of California in Berkeley’s Psychology Department.  Dr. Dunbar developed the SIRIUS® puppy training method, which incorporates socialization and fun in every class.

    The Service Dog Academy also incorporates techniques used in the Clicker dog training method. This is a reward based training system that emphasizes the repetition dogs need to learn and the positive reinforcement they crave. Clicker training is a completely non-violent method that makes training your dog fun for both you and your pet.

    The Service Dog Academy is dedicated to teaching the most advanced, humane and pet/owner friendly dog training methods available. Our advanced training methods ensures that we reach our goal of not just training your pet but strengthening the bond between you and your best four-legged friend.

    Loved the family like feeling! Great people. We enjoyed the
    socialization aspect of the class for both me and Titan.
    Thank you for giving Titan so much
    love and help
    . Tamarie – Seattle

    We offer group classes, private dog training, on location or home sessions and video conference training throughout the U.S. Our prices are affordable and competitive with non-service dog facilities.

    Helping the Community

    As an added bonus, your dog obedience training business allows us to continue our heartfelt work of training service dogs for the disabled in our community.

    Unfortunately, there is no funding available to help our disabled neighbors train the dogs they so desperately need to live safely in their homes and do things that most of us take for granted such as going to the grocery store.

    A portion of your dog’s training fees go directly to paying it forward by reducing fees to train service dogs owned by people with disabilities.

    Select the best  training option for you and your dog now and contact us or sign up online.

    Donate To Support The Program That Saves Lives Hundreds Of Times Per Day

    Mary McNeight and Service Dog Academy have been pillars of justice, advocacy and education in the medical alert dog community. If you would like to support this mission, you may do so using the paypal link below.

    Free Medical Alert Dog Training Advice – Youtube Videos

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